Travel Inspiration By A Pro Trip Designer

One Kings Lane Tastemaker

Personal or Promotion

Aug
23
2012

Holy Smokes! I am thrilled to announce that One Kings Lane is hosting a Tastemaker Sale featuring my three books and some lovely, hand-selected furnishings and décor items to pair with the semenax testimonials three destinations. The sale begins Friday, August 24th at 11am EST. Click on the image below to go straight to the sale.

One Kings Lane Sale!

One Kings Lane Sale

Posted in: Personal or Promotion

Published by Meg, Thursday, August 23, 2012 No Comments

Caribbean Hideaways Signing at Forty One North

Hotel Reviews, Personal or Promotion

Jul
30
2012

This past weekend I was in Newport, Rhode Island for a book signing of my second book; Caribbean Hideaways hosted by the lovely folks at Forty 1 North. The assembled group and I enjoyed delicious Caribbean-influenced cocktails made with 10-cane Rum and passed nibbles of jerk chicken and shrimp while I spoke about my signature hideaways hunting methods to a delightful group of Forty 1 North card members. As always, it’s a treat to speak about my passion and share my books with others, not to mention, be a guest speaker at Forty 1 North.

Forty 1 North's chess kit and dockside Grill Restaurant

Forty 1 North’s chess kit and dockside Grill Restaurant

The deck at Forty 1 North is easily one of the best spots in Newport, particularly if you’re a yacht enthusiast. With direct views of nautical traffic in the harbor, plus a row of dock slips that often cater to some of the world’s most elegant boats: Hinckleys, Rivas, or in the case of this past weekend, the 147-foot megayacht, the good spot to people-watch too. With a lively crowd that begins at 5pm and goes until 1am – thanks to a DJ spinning from 10pm, the Grill area is one of Newport’s hottest evening venues.

On the deck before the book signing at Forty 1 North

On the deck before the book signing at Forty 1 North

Instagram photo of the view from our room - note the tall ship cruising by

My Instagram photo of the view from our room – note the tall ship cruising by

The rooms at Forty 1 North, particularly the one I stayed in (Room #1) are incredibly comfortable – the beds especially. With deep soaking tubs (of which my 2-year old son was a particular fan), multi-head, walk-in showers, flat-screen TVs and in-room IPads, all the necessary luxuries are available. But for me, the real luxury comes from the intimate views. The creature comforts are, of course, much appreciated, but its walking out onto the terrace and taking in the splendor of Newport’s Harbor that elicits the sigh of content.

ROLLIN’ WITH NOLAN TIP: If it’s access to Yachts, or those who own them, that drives your visit to Newport, then there is no better place than Forty One North.

Posted in: Hotel Reviews, Personal or Promotion

Published by Meg, Monday, July 30, 2012 No Comments

Carleton’s Grand Party

Personal or Promotion

Oct
03
2011

Mid-September

The Grand Hotel

Mackinac Island, Michigan

View upon our arrival to The Grand

View upon our arrival to The Grand

Recently I was invited to attend the Family and Friends weekend of none other than, Mr. Color himself, the famed interior designer, Carleton Varney. The lovely weekend took place at one of Varney’s vibrant bastions of glamour, the famed Grand Hotel on Michigan’s charming Mackinac Island. My husband, son and I took the requisite two flights from New York and then a short, 20-minute ferry over to the quaint island where transportation is restricted to on foot, bicycle or get this; a horse-drawn carriage.

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The facade of the hotel

The facade of the hotel

The Grand’s horse-drawn carriages are particularly attractive, driven by red jacketed, top hat-donning men, ensuring a stately entrance to the massive, 19th-century hotel.  This was my first visit to Mackinac Island, a popular summer retreat for mid-westerners, and had only heard snippets of its history and topography, though its lore as being car-free was rather profound.  Upon arrival we shuffled into our carriage and were delighted by the sights outside our small windows.

The view from the top of the hill above The Grand

The view from the top of the hill down to The Grand

The crystal clear lake resembled Caribbean-esque colors and the grass was  particularly vibrant shade of green, and oh so manicured. The main street of the island is chock-a-block with Fudge Shops (seriously, lots of Fudge) and despite the island’s devout traditionalism with regards to transportation, Main Street does boast a Starbucks. The most appealing store for us was the small outfitter store which carried popular name brand sportswear like Patagonia, Arc’teryx and North Face. Of course, this is most likely due to Norther Michigan’s considerable chill and the draw of warm fleece products.

Main Street

Main Street

Our favorite leisure activity was biking the relatively, flat 7-mile route around the island. We rented two bikes and a comfortable baby stroller for the back and for less than $50, enjoyed a 2-hour bike ride (with a few stops in between to snack and skip rocks) with some of the most spectacular scenery.  The evergreen trees alongside the smooth, clear lake were a spectacular sight, especially with the slight bite to the air. We were blessed with sunshine and an amenable toddler, allowing us to take in the surroundings with total relaxation and appreciation.

The vivid greens and blues of Mackinac Island

The vivid greens and blues of Mackinac Island

Our other favorite, okay my favorite, activity over the weekend was actually the reason I was invited to come along – a book signing. Friday evening, Carleton gathered a few of his author friends (Barbara Eden, Edwina Sandys) alongside him and we signed and sold books in the name of the local library. It was a fabulous event, complete with cocktails and nibbles, plus a raffle where some of Carleton’s enviable linens and fabrics were the prizes.

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My lovely post

My lovely post

Alongside the estimable Carleton Varney

Alongside the estimable Carleton Varney

As you can imagine, Mr. Color, Carleton’s wonderful book, sold out very quickly. I was lucky to sell plenty as well, no doubt, due to my prime seating next to the guest of honor himself. The event was a tremendous success and much credit is due to the superb organization by Mimi Cunningham, a member of the family whom owns and operates the historic Grand Hotel. Below is a picture of my turn at reading out the winning ticket for the raffle.

Reading out Xavier's winning ticket

Reading out Xavier's winning ticket

Beyond the public events and obvious beauty of the property, the weekend was a wonderful success in that I met wonderful, generous people. Carleton had gathered a truly astounding group in his honor and it was a privilege to not only be among them, but to have the pleasure of spending time with each of them.

Thank you Carleton, Susan and Brinsley for including me and my family on such an unforgettable adventure and to Mr. & Mrs. Musser at the Grand Hotel, for being such gracious hosts! We hope to return soon.

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Posted in: Personal or Promotion

Published by Meg, Monday, October 3, 2011 No Comments

about meg

About Meg

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Meg is the founder of luxury travel consulting company, Friend of a Friend Consulting. Her three books, Italian Hideaways, Caribbean Hideaways and England's Hideaways are published by Rizzoli. Passionate about travel, hotels and wine, she continues to write freelance travel pieces and is currently pursuing a Masters in Wine through the WSET.

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The opinions expressed on this blog are solely my own and do not reflect separate business relationships with the subject. Whenever posts are supported financially, they are designated as such.